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tv   [untitled]    February 29, 2012 2:30pm-3:00pm EST

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armenian population. and the embassy of georgia is now in support of the idea of the united states focusing gay chunk of its aid for georgia on the region. this would help bind them to the republic of georgia and would help achieve our goals in the caucuses. lafrt ti last time you were here, i mentioned voice of america broadcasting in the sindy language. this committee has voted to provide $1 million to broadcast in the sindy language. there are elements in the
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government and islamabad who would prefer to try to impose or do language on the entire country. in fact, the idea of pouring the language on what was then east ben gala created as much as anything the independent republic of bangladesh. i would hope we not try to accommodate the most extreme nationalistic or just extreme position of some elements in islamabad. because right now we're broadcasting and cindy is spoken by far more people in pakistan. we have a very complicated relationship with the pakistani government. we need to reach out to the pakistani people, particularly those in the sufi influenced south of pakistan where the version of islam is so compatible with american values.
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i know i won't be the only person up here to talk about camp liberty and how important it is that we assure the humanitarian safety of everyone who was there. there are certainly elements to how that camp has been set up that makes it look not almost like a prison camp. there are reports that the residents have no access to lawyers, their family, no freedom of movement. and, obviously, the iranian government is going to be pressing the iraqis to be as inhumane as possible to the residents of that camp. i hope that we will be pressing on the other side. and then finally, and this is a day with regard to this issue, as you may know, there is the
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swift system which is the society for worldwide interbank financial telecommunications. there is an effort to exclude all iranian banks from that system. earlier today i had a chance to talk to chairman bernanke who represents us in the swift system and has a role in supervising that system. and he said that he didn't have a national security adviser over at the federal reserve and would want to hear from elements of the government that do focus on national security whether it is in our interest, not just to exclude some iranian banks but all iranian banks from the swift system thus further isolating iran's financial system. and so perhaps you could respond here as to whether you would advise the chairman to do everything possible to exclude
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all iranian banks from the system. >> yes, we certainly would. and we believe that using the swift system is a very effective way of further isolating iran and the iranian flow of financial transactions. so we will engage with the federal reserve in terms of providing such information and with respect to all of your other issues, congressman, we will get back to you in a timely manner. >> thank you. and i hope your advice to bernanke would be all iranian banks, not just those that have been sanctioned by the eu. >> thank you, mr. sherman. thank you, madam secretary. mr. burton, the chairman on europe and eurasia is recognized. >> madam secretary, nice seeing you again. "understand there was an
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indication that we might open some dialogue with north korea. i just checked and we gave north korea during the clinton administration over $1 billion in fuel and food aid as well as money we spent building their light battewater reactor. and, of course, they violated their agreement they made. i only reason i bring that up is i hope if we start a dialogue with them we realize that their history is one of -- that they certainly can't trust. and even though kim jong-il is gone and we have a new leader, there i think it's extremely important that the state department get everything written in blood, so to speak, to make sure that we're not shaft at the end. recently dom donovan and the chairman of the joint chiefs went over to visit israel. and the tone of the reports that i received and, of course, all
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this isn't in writing. but the tone was that they were urging israel not to take any unilateral action as far as an attack on iran is concerned. and i know that recently they said that they certainly weren't going to involve so to speak the united states to give us some sim ambulance of separation from that. why doesn't the administration give complete support to israel and say if iran continues with its program, we'll do whatever is necessary to stop that program and give israel the support they need. right now they're surrounded by all of the potential enemies you can count and they really need, i think in the world of public relations to know and the world to know that the united states is with them through thick and
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thin. the last thing i talked to you about when you were here before and i'll give you a chance to respond was i've been very concerned about the entire northern tier of africa and the persian gulf become radicalized. tu tun eesha, libya, egypt, maybe syria and then the persian gulf area i've been talked -- i talked to a number of the ambassadors and others there. they're all concerned of r radicalism taking over. although we want to get rid of people like gadhafi and mu bar he can, mubarak, although he was a pretty good friend of camp david, although we want to get rid of the bad guys, i'd like to know what we're doing to guarantee that we're not supporting radical islamists who are going to end up causing a bigger problem than the problem we already have. i understand that we want to get rid of people that are persecuting their populations.
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but we also have to be concerned about what it means to the united states as far as energy is concerned, stability in the region, israel and all those things. and i would like to know what guarantees that we have that the governments that we're supporting over there or the fledgling governments we're supporting are not going to be radicalized and start supporting and implementing shah reea law and thus we would face a more difficult problem down the road than we face right now. >> congressman, with respect to israel, i can assure you that not only does the obama administration strongly support the defense and security of israel, but we have put more money behind that pledge than has ever been put before. we are -- we've increased u.s. security assistance to israel every year since fy-09. this budget includes $3.1
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billion for foreign military financing, $25 million increase from the fy-'12 level. we have very strong support for israel's missile defense programs which are an essential aspect of what in these very challenging times. and prime minister netanyahu has called the bilateral security cooperation unprecedented particularly with respect to cooperative missile defense and realistic military exercises. there is an on going consultation at the very highest levels between our two governments and, you know, we share our assessments with the israelis. we listen to their assessments. and i think that the primepeak for themselves. it was unprecedented the level of cooperation and funding that
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we're providing and i will look forward to providing an answer on the record regarding north africa. i just returned from a visit to tunisia and algeria and morocco. i think we have an opportunity there. but i'm conscious of the risks and dangers you identified. >> thank you, madam secretary. thank you, mr. burton. mr. meeks. >> thank you, madam chairman. it's always a delight to have you before us. i just want to say on behalf of all of the government what a splendid job you're doing. i have three questions that i'm going to try to ask you in the time that we have alotted. one, about our complex relationship with russia which i believe presents a significant accomplishments, challenges and opportunities and our areas of disagreement are sometimes profound and frustrating multilateral efforts to confront threats of life in syria and iran. notably, the cold war is behind
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us and the united states and russia are no longer eyeball to eyeball but fingers posed over red buttons that would release arsenals at one another and we are elbow to elbow at the conference table which is a good thing. will you comment on your priorities and the strategy with respect to russia? you may know or may not know that i am particularly interested in expanding trade and economic relationship with russia. which in the year ahead, i hope will be a good news story for the united states. secondly, turkey continues to be a strategically important player in a challenging part of the world. in fact, turkey demonstrated leadership and su the tens of thousands of syrian refugees who are across the border. they stepped into the spotlight regard events in the middle east and north africa and facilitate redeployments from iraq. can you talk about turkey's
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growing prominence including the united states' relationship with turkey including what seem to be rough spots with israel and iran. and lastly, the u.s. leads the world of promoting racial and ethnic tolerance. and gender empowerment. i want to commend you for your personal leadership in these efforts. i would like to focus your attention on the u.s.-brazil joint action plan as well as the u.s. colombia action plan to promote racial and ethnic equality. i want to hear about your plans for continuing these works on the initiatives, especially since i didn't see or it was not clear about the funding of these initiatives in 2013. and it's very much concerning to me whether that is going to continue in the western hemisphere. when i was in brussels, now being the ranking democrat on europe, there's been -- and our european counterparts have expressed a strong interest in concluding such a joint action plan with us also. and so i was wondering if the state department could expand on thissishtive and look into
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negotiating an agreement with the eu. >> well, thank you very much for that description of a lot of the most important issues that we face. let me focus at the start on russia. there will be coming before the congress important work to be done in order for american businesses to benefit from russia's membership in the wto. the united states is very much in the interest of the kind of rules based economic system that we think benefits americans and that we're very keen on establishing firmly for the 21st century. so we'reve the congress vote to grant permanent normal trade relations to russia because it's a vote to create american jobs. for u.s. businesses, farmers and workers to receive the maximum o
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the wto, we have to give unconditional permanent normal trading relations treatment to russian goods that we provide to all wto members. that commitment requires us to terminate the application of the jackson vannic amendment. and jackson vannic achieved its historic purpose by helping thousands of jews emigrate from the soviet union and jackson vannic is not any longer the kind of active tool we need to promote universal human rights vis-a-vis russia. because we want to continue to press for human rights inside russia. but failure to lift jackson vannic will put our manufacturers, american businesses at a disadvantage. so we very much hope that congress will grant pntr to
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russia, lift jackson vannic, recognize the need to keep pressing on human rights inside russia and create american jobs as a result. and with respect to your other very important questions and areas of concern, congressman, i'll just end by saying we strongly support the work we're doing with colombia and brazil to promote rarcial and ethnic equality. we have the means to continue to work on that within the existing budget and it's a very high priority. >> thank you very much, mr. meeks. next the chairman on the subcommittee on oversight on investigations is recognized. >> thank you very much. i, too, respect the good job you're doing. we have some disagreements. but the fact is you work hard and you take your job seriously. and probably of all the members of the obama administration, you have more respect here on capitol hill than your other colleagues. sorry, that's a bad compliment. i shouldn't have said that.
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but many lives depend on the decisions you make in your job. i'd like to ask two questions about relationing directly to people who are now in grave danger who will be affected by your decision making. then after that if i have other time, i'll ask a couple other questions. first one is about dr. fritty in pakistan. it is now illegal for the government of pakistan to receive any aid money from the united states unless you as the secretary of state certify that pakistan is cooperating with the united states in counter-terrorism efforts and preventing terrorists from basing their operations in pakistan. well, of course, the one pakistani who did cooperate with us was dr. fritty who was the welcome bar and led the navy seals to where osama bin laden was hiding. but he now has been arrested by
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the pakistani government and is facing a treason charge. his property has been confisc e confiscated. his office staff has been fired. and he's being called a national criminal by that government. so can you certify, you are able to certify that pakistan is cooperating with us as long as dr. fritty, the man who helped get osama bin laden, is in custody and being charged with treason? >> well, congressman, i agree that there is no basis for holding dr. fritty or any of his staff. in fact, i think his work on behalf of the effort to take down bin laden was in pakistan's interest as well as the united states interest. and we have made that view very well known. we'll continue to press it. and, you know, it is going to be
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taken into account as we move forward. >> well, if they do not let dr. fritty go, let me put everybody on notice here, i believe that we're going to be watching this carefully, there is nothing that could suggest the pakistan is cooperating with us in the fight against terrorism when they have dr. fritty, the man who helped us get osama bin laden in prison and treating him this way. that is their decision of noncooperation. about one other group whose lives are in danger. there are 3,000 iranian exiles who have been residing in iraq. because they were enemies and are enemies of the iranian mullah dictatorship, these exile members who were members of the mek are in great danger. our designation to their organization as a terrorist organization has been a major stumbling block in efforts to resettle them and take them to safety. are we going to wait until there is some kind of another slaughter of these people? they already were slauters.
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they're unarmed. before we act to get them resettled, something as easy as trying to take that designation off the terrorist organization would help dramatically. and we can do that unilaterally. >> first, we are deeply concerned about the security and safety of the residents of camp ashrof. and we have supported the work of the united nations to find a path forward to relocate the residents and that is now begun. we fully support the mou signed in december between the united nations and the government of iraq. and it includes commitments from the iraqi government for the safety and security of the new camp where the relocation is taking place. as you know, there were 397 residents relocated on february 18th. there were complications. but it was peaceful. there was no violence. the safety so far has been
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protected and we're watching that very closely. we continue to work on our review of the mek's designation as a foreign terrorist organization in accordance with the d.c. circuit's decision and applicable law. i would note that not every resident relocated to what used to be camp liberty, is now camp perea, may be an mek member. the organization's structure and history dictate that we take a serious look at each individual, not prejudge membership or the condition of that person's presence at ashrof. once again, the unhcr process will be expedited. so no government has raised the fto issue with the department of state as a bar to receiving individuals. and we're going to continue to work to ensure the safety and security, and we think that
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we -- we have a good plan. and i would say, congressman, that given the ongoing efforts to relocate the residents, mek cooperation in the successful and peaceful closure of camp ashrof, mek's main par military base, will be a key factor in any decision regarding the mek's fto status. >> thank you very much, madam chairman -- madam secretary. thank you, mr. rohrbasher. mr. engel of new york. >> thank you, madam chair. welcome, madam secretary. the united states is proud of you, but in new york we're especially proud of you. i want to ask three questions. i'll try to do them one at a time. i've just come back from a trip to israel where i've met with people at the highest levels of government. there is a big fear in israel that the united states is adjusting to the containment of
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iranian nuclear weapons rather than stopping them at all costs. and as you, of course, know, we have said that sanctions work. many in israel believe if we wait too long we'll be at the point of no return and iran will not be stopped at all. can you please comment on that and assure us we are not for a position of containment? >> our policy, congressman, is prevention. our policy is to prevent iran from attaining nuclear weapons capability. we have a two-track policy, pressure and engagement. we are pursuing both simultaneously to that end. >> okay. thank you. i want to speak with you about the balkans. you and i had several discussions in the past week or so about kasoa. i want to praise you publicly for guaranteeing kasova's rights as a sovereign country remain secure throughout recent negotiations with the eu and
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serbia. while i'm glad kasova will take its rightful place as a sovereign state in regional negotiations and i commend the prime minister for taking this difficult decision, i'm concerned belgrade is advancing to candisy status before meeting all the eu conditions. as the same time, as you and i discussed, i hope the u.s. will seek additional ways to support kasova during this process including through the millennium challenge program and by pressing the eu to stop dragging its feet on kasova's future. >> i thank you for your constant support of koe kosovo and the ko people. the prime minister showed great leadership. the invitation of candidacy the eu extended to serbia has many
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milestones along the way. resolving border issues, reso e ├▒ysolving a lot of unfinished
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